Race Reviews

2023 Downtown Asheville

I cannot begin to tell you how well run your race was run. I have done several marathons and this one was by far my favorite. Everything from the support volunteers, to the inspirational signs, to the free beer, to the awesome medal was flawless. It was a perfect day. Thank you!!

~ Kathy 

I completed the Asheville Marathon today and had the BEST first marathon experience anyone could hope for!

~ Colleen 

Thanks for a great day and a great race!! First time running Asheville and we loved it!! Looking forward to next year!

~ Jacobo 

2022 Downtown Asheville

I loved the course! I have never run through downtown Asheville before! The River Arts District is so cool. The greenway run along the River was spectacular! The weather was perfect! The spectators along the course gave such boosts of energy to all the runners along the way! Music along the course was such a fun surprise and the after race party cannot be beat!! This was such a fun race and I would do this course again and again!!

~ Deanne 

I love what a great destination race this is – it’s perfect to meet up with my long-distance best running friend! Love how you were able to pivot to a new course (again!) this year – super awesome finish area to chill at! The goodie bag Epsom salts and free post race massages were lovely touches!

~ Julia 

The whole race had such an “Asheville Vibe”. If anyone wants to experience Asheville this is a great way to do it! I loved seeing all the art on the buildings. You really get such a different perspective when you are running by something versus driving by. The finish line area was great as well. It was a perfect day!

~ Kim

 2021 Downtown Asheville
(relocated race due to COVID19)

Tremendous job by the race staff! Incredibly impressed by how well put together this race was. Loved the rolling start, medals, scenery, course refreshments, and how thorough the emails leading up to the race weekend were. Last mile was very challenging, but so worth it! This race was worth the drive from Florida. Kudos to the race staff and volunteers. Thank you for putting on such a great event.

~ Riggio

Really well organized in light of safety protocols, well worth the 4.5 hour drive to do this!

~ Braun


2019 Asheville Marathon & Half 

Although Bryan Morseman, record holder for the Asheville Marathon & Half, was not able to participate this year, he did have this to say:

“I would have to say out of the NOW 100+ 🙂 marathons I have ran, Asheville and the Course you have is in the top 5.”

~ Bryan Morseman, Record Holder

“…I wanted to quickly say thank you for a wonderful weekend.  This was my first 1/2 marathon ever, I was so proud of myself for participating – and my family was able to be there to support me.  AND then to roll it in to a full day of volunteering the next day was a great way to wrap up the weekend and our family trip.  We had a blast out there dancing and filling up water and cheering on the marathon runners.  My dad loved being a marshall (maybe he just liked the time away from us. hehehe).  But it’s all because of you and your team for creating this wonderful weekend event that we got to share in.  So thank you again – looking forward to next year and volunteering more!”

~ Theo, Asheville Half Marathon Participant and Volunteer

“Once again, the AVL Marathon and Half was a giant success! Congratulations on pulling off such a top-notch event year after year, Daphne. You and your team do an amazing job.”

~ Lisa, Participant

“I just wanted to thank you for putting on a wonderful race this weekend at Biltmore. It was perfect! Also, if you know who the Pacer was for the 5:30 group, could you just let him know that he’s amazing! He was so helpful and kind and encouraging. I only ran the half with him so I didn’t get to thank him but he was the best!! Thanks again for a great race. I can’t say enough about how nicely done it was. Aid stations were energetic and fun, pacers were awesome, the medals and shirts, the signage and the course, all of it was incredible. And the DJ! I loved him. Anyway, great job and thank you!!

~ Chelsea Atkins, Participant

2018 Asheville Marathon & Half 

“I would like to give a huge thanks for putting on such a great event this weekend with the Asheville Marathon. I was honored to be able to pace a group for the first time and was in awe of how well the event was coordinated.  I now see why this marathon is one of the top 10 sightseeing marathons in the country! Thanks again.”
– Josh Stone, Asheville Marathon & Half Participant & Pacer

” Daphne, Anna, Joel, and the rest of the team at iDaph Events put on a phenomenal event this weekend. The races are noted as one of the top-10 most scenic in the country, for good reason! From top to bottom, the experience was wonderful, and if you want to experience Biltmore in a way that’s completely different from simply visiting the house, this is how you do it! Join us in 2019…you won’t regret it!”
– Michael Jones, Asheville Half Marathon Participant

“This is absolutely my favorite race!!! I’ve participated in this race for 3 years, 2015, 2017, 2018 and each time is just as fun. I’ve talked about it so much to all of my Fleet Feet Carrboro/Durham friends that 10 of them signed up for this race this year!

Daphne, words cannot explain the gratitude and hard work that is put into this race to make it one that is worth attending every year. I will be back for 2019!”
– Sarah Albrecht, Asheville Half Marathon Participant

2017 Asheville Marathon & Half 

“Absolutely beautiful scenery. And the race crew went so far above and beyond to welcome and take care of runners: fully stocked (with actual FOOD!), friendly aid stations; gracious volunteers who helped with every question and request we had; easy logistics (shuttles, indoor plumbing, and warm waiting areas pre race). It was my 41st marathon and honestly my favorite. We made a weekend of the backyard to vineyard challenge and had a blast. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
– Carrie “Hadix” Alexander, Asheville Marathon & Half Participant

“Everything about this race was top-notch. The information sent out, the organization, and the fantastic demeanor of the staff and volunteers all exceeded expectations. The course is tough, but it is a gorgeous run that’ll have your head on a swivel. This is definitely a must-run race!”
– Crystal Roger Owens, Asheville Marathon & Half Participant

2016 Asheville Marathon & Half 

“I just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic experience at the 2016 Asheville half marathon at the Biltmore.  My quads are still sore from those long hills (flat lander from Iowa here), but I’m still smiling.  The un-metal medal is the classiest, most tasteful looking medal I’ve ever received.  The finisher blanket is wonderful.  The metal award for being top 5 is so absolutely unique!  What a great idea.  These are just some of the things that made this a first-class experience.   A huge thanks to you and all of the volunteers.  I have organized races (on a much, MUCH smaller scale) over the years, and I know how much effort it takes to pull off a small event, let alone one of this magnitude.   The effort and care you all put in to this was evident at all turns.  You should be very proud.  P.S. Thanks for the spectacular weather.  I only wish the full marathoners had been as lucky as us.  :-)”
– Joanne Sackett, Asheville Half Marathon Participant

I haven’t stopped smiling or talking about the race. It was superb! Thanks to everyone that made it so special!”
Melinda Jones Micheletto, Hadley, MA (2015)


2015 Asheville Marathon & Half

“…terrific race yesterday. organization from A to Z was tremendous, venue super. races were great!!! THANKS.”
Dave Milliman, Executive Editor of Pace Running Magazine

“I ran the half last year and the full this year. It was so awesome! I loved the “nun’. As we were running by he said “Get your holy water” and “You missed the early service, but you can make it to the next service” . He was great! Of course the scenery was breathtaking! And the weather was amazing, although, I do believe the wind was working against me lol. Thanks iDaph & Biltmore for helping making my 1st Marathon something to remember!”
Kim Yoder Anthony, Morganton, NC

“Big hugs and Thanks Yous for the planners and volunteers! The experience was incredible and you set the bar for a truly memorable racing experience. Your hard work and dedication was evident in all the details.”
Mary Bohenek, Boston, MA

“Thanks for another great year and run! All your hard work showed through! Looking forward to next year!”
Silvia Henry, Sevierville, TN

“What a wonderful race! Definitely on my list for next year! Thank you!”
Caryn Woodruff,  Raleigh, NC

“I love volunteering at this race! The runners are so inspirational! The race director and volunteer coordinator are amazing women!”
– Julie Dixon Lambert, 2015 Volunteer

“Thank you volunteers!!! You are all so awesome to donate your time and energy to help make an amazing race!”
Ashley Harn, Asheville NC

Everything about the race was wonderful! The volunteers did an amazing job, and it was very well run – and beautiful too! I was SO proud to win First in my Age Group and represent ‪Girls With Sole!”
– ‪Liz Ferro, Rocky River, OH

Best volunteers ever!! Everyone was so sweet and helpful and they did an awesome job!! THANK YOU!!!”
– ‪Cassie Lane Bonacci, Covington, KY 

“The wood award perfectly represented Asheville – love it! Best water stations of any race that I’ve run. I especially appreciated the bananas and cookies. The volunteers were the best and so friendly, especially given the weather.”
Tina McKinney, 2014 Participant

2014 Asheville Marathon & Inaugural Half 

PaulaJeanLuntPhotoWatermarked“To me, this photo says it all. While we run by what was once the largest private home in the US, this is truly a grass roots event allowing us to view life at a slower pace. The farms, the woods, the vineyards, the dirt roads, the open spaces and lack of noisy spectators allow us to run because we are enjoying it. So many marathons are turning into circuses with glitz and noise. Thank you all for putting on an event that doesn’t need gimmicks.” — Paula Jean Lunt Tenants, Harbor, ME

“One of the fun things I noticed about the participants was how much happier the participants at the end of each race were as they approached the finish line. Most of them were smiling and just pleased to have completed the race; many had loud cheering sections. Thank you for letting the last 2 participants cross the finish line in the marathon even though they did not make the time limit; they walked the whole distance and really deserved to still be on their feet to cross the finish line. It was fun and I was glad to be there to cheer the runners on. You guys did a wonderful and thorough job organizing and putting on the race. Well done!!” —Martha Marshall, 2014 VIV

“Couldn’t be happier with the race. I will definitely be sharing this with others. The only issue at all was the half/full turn around area which I am sure became congested later on as full marathoners caught up to halfers. Obviously the mud was tricky but that is weather related and there is nothing that can be done about that. It’s a trail race and people that run trail races realize its part of its charm!” — 2014 Participant

“Thank you. It was fun. There was great leadership & organization too, which made it easy.” — Miller Shire, 2014 VIV

“I had 3 runners come in REI this afternoon, out of towners, and they had had a great time even in the rain… Again, congrats on a great run even in crappy weather. Maybe next year the sun will shine!” — Dolly McClean

“The upgrades made to the race finisher medals and the race blankets were fantastic! I love the finisher medals this year and the way they incorporate all things “Asheville” in the design. The blankets are awesome – a better quality than last year and the embroidery made a huge difference. Communication was great.” — Shannon Wildes, 2014 Participant

“A day later and a lot warmer and dryer, I now think this is one of the best races I’ve run. My time was not the best, and the rain made the dirt road slippery, but the whole atmosphere was great! Thanks to all the sponsors and volunteers who made the race special.” — Cathy Peeler Gibson, 2014 Participant

“The wood award perfectly represented Asheville – love it! Best water stations of any race that I’ve run. I especially appreciated the bananas and cookies. The volunteers were the best and so friendly, especially given the weather. My only suggestion would be 2 beers instead of 1 – maybe draft instead of can? Not a big deal though.” — Tina McKinney, 2014 Participant

“WOA!~!!! THIS WAS THE BEST HALFSIE EVER!!!! :))) Thank you SO MUCH VOLUNTEERS AND EVERYONE!! Although I loved the water station with the cow bells, There was one guy at about mile 11 dancing all by himself, without music, smiling from ear to ear and encouraging us all!! When I was driving out after the half, I passed him on the grounds and he was STILL THERE, STILL DANCING, AN HOUR LATER for the full marathoners!!! Don’t know who he was but HE DESERVES MAD PROPS!!!! 🙂 🙂 Thank you ALL so much!!!” — Marie Sokol, 2014 Half Participant

“Really hoping somebody got a good photo of the cows all lined up on both sides of the road between mile 14-15… it was like we were interrupting a bovine game of Red Rover. LOL.” — Kevin Dobo, 2014 Participant

“I just wanted to say congratulations on a great Marathon & ½ this weekend. You and your crew did an amazing job! It was a great running experience and I want to thank you for letting me be a part of it this year.” — Greg Walker, AMA 2014

Inaugural Asheville Marathon in 2013

“Firstly, just wanted to thank you on a really incredible event. I’ve run marathons in 16 states and I have to say this is one of the top 5 I’ve run. The staff was fantastic, super friendly and the course was so well marked. The aid stations were also really well stocked, which makes a huge difference. Everything about the race was well done. Thank you for all your work.” — Vincent Rossmeier – top 5 men

“Just want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed your marathon yesterday.  For a first time marathon, it was excellent–great attention to detail… The scenery was excellent, and the historical perspective was great.” — Don Kern, Race Director from the other Beer City, Grand Rapids, MI

“I have told many people that I firmly believe the Asheville Marathon course helped me prepare for the Boston Marathon, which also has a few hills (most of them in the second half, including “Heartbreak Hill”).  I ran my best Boston Marathon time ever this year.” — Francine Robinson (participant – 2nd Place in Women 55-59)

“Just wanted to say thank you for a WONDERFUL and adventurous weekend!!!   The expo was fantastic!! I loved all the vendors there and everyone was so willing to cross off the card (very cute idea!!)… Had some great convos with them and LOVED the recover shirt folks – hope to use them for some MRTT stuff!!  Very neat to get a shirt printed right in front of me!  And was very excited to get my wine 😉  Loved it!  THANK YOU for the hotel room, shuttle passes and all that!  I don’t know if it was a mistake or if you were just hooking me up – but they said I had the room till TUESDAY so it was so nice to not have to rush back after the race or pack up before hand to get out. It was such an adventure… loved the course (miserable hills and all haha), loved the plentiful GU, water and snacks, and I had more pride finishing that marathon than any other.  Was SO surpised to get wrapped in a cozy blanket when I finished – and even seeing them all rolled up on the table was so pretty and colorful!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!” — Pam (participant) 


“The training plan gave me confidence entering the race and the group support was incredibly helpful during the later stages of the race. I was pleasantly surprised that the recovery time was so short. My expectation prior to beginning Chi training was to be completely wasted with a week or more of recovery. I was aware that pain/discomfort meant I was missing a focus. I was able to run through my mental checklist and correct issues before they became disabling. My current focus is relaxing my ankles to eliminate ankle/achilles discomfort.”  — AVL Biltmore Marathon Training Program participant

“Sticking to the planned runs helped me gain the confidence for being able to run a marathon! I was worried about the hills since we weren’t able to practice the course ahead of time. Danny’s instructions about what to do on training runs was right on! I felt strong and enjoyed the hills during the marathon! Lots of things about ChiRunning helped – body sensing, form focuses, y’chi, arm twirls while running downhill (Danny showed that to us at one of the technique clinics), learning about cadence and more! I found the training calendar very easy to work with. It was very helpful to have direct links for videos for the daily form focuses. I found the menu listings to be very useful as well (such as, the appendices, vision & goals, programs, reports, etc.)” — AVL Biltmore Marathon Training Program participant

“I did make it to one of the technique clinics and got a ton out of it! Danny Dreyer is so down to earth and amazing. Jeff, too, was very helpful and knowledgeable! When I signed up for the marathon, I wasn’t really sure why people ran marathons. But, I learned so much about myself through the training, gained confidence and really enjoyed the marathon experience. I wouldn’t say it was an easy run, but it was a happy one!!” — AVL Biltmore Marathon Training Program participant